This is a short dough recipe that you can simply make for various types of tarts. You probably have seen different recipes for making Pate Sucree, sugar dough, pastry dough, or short dough, but they are basically the same type of dough that is light, slightly sweet, and crumble.
INGREDIENTS & EQUIPMENT
Ingredients – Makes 6 4-inch shell
8 Tbsp (1 stick) Unsalted Butter (at room temperature)
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 large Egg Yolk
1 1/2 cups Cake Flour (sifted)
4-inch Individual tart pans
HOW TO MAKE
1. In a stand mixer (a hand mixer will work fine as well.) attach the paddle attachment, and add the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract.
2. Mix them on medium speed until you reach the cream stage. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula while mixing.
3. Add the egg yolk and blend until smooth about 1 or 2 minutes.
4. Add the cake flour all at once, and mix on low speed until just blended.
Chilling the Dough
5. The dough will be very crumbly as you see on the photo. Just gently press the dough into a disk with your hand. Be careful not to knead the dough as it can become tough.
6. If crumbs don’t stick together, don’t worry about it because they will stick together as it chills in a refrigerator. Just wrap the dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 20 to 30 minutes.
If you’re making a fruit tart, this will the perfect time for you to make your pastry cream.
NOTE: if tart dough was not wrapped tightly, it can be dried while it’s chilling. If wrong type of ingredients (not enough fat or liquid, wrong type of flour) were used for making tart dough, it can be dried. If tart dough was mixed to long or rolled too think, or tart shell was over baked, tart shell can be dried out or shrink. The key point of making a good tart dough is not mixing too long.
Rolling the dough
7. Since I am making 6 small tart shells, divide dough into 6 equal disks.
* Some of you mentioned that the dough falls apart when you try to roll right after you take out of refrigerator. Try this way to prevent that – Gently knead the tart dough (spread the dough with your hand) until it’s soft enough to roll. This should work.
8. Flour the work surface, scatter a little flour over the top of the dough, and roll it out
into even rounds about 2 inches larger in diameter than your tart pan.
Transferring & Forming the dough
9. To transfer the dough to the tart pan, fold it loosely around the rolling pin. Then, gently lift and position it over the pan. (No need to grease the pan – tart shells will come out easily.
10. Gently press down to the inner edge and trim the dough by using your fingertips to press the dough against the sides and bottom of the pan. Turn the oven to 360 F and place tart shells in a refrigerator for another 10 to 15 minutes before blind baking.
11. Poke holes in the bottom and sides of the dough by using a fork. This will help the dough from puffing up while it bakes.
12. Line with parchment paper.
13. Add enough pie weights (Like most of people, I do not have this special tools, so I used dry beans.)
14. About 8 – 10 minutes until the dough is just set and the edges look dry. (I think I over baked a little bit, but it was totally fine – I love crispy tart shell!)
Cooling tart shells
15. Remove the pan from the oven and remove dry beans.
16. Remove parchment papers.
17. Just push up the bottom of tart pan and you can get the shell out easily.
18. Cool them on the wire rack.
USING & STORING
Using: You can use this dough for making any type of tarts. This is little bit different than pie dough, so don’t use this for pies.
Storing: Once you bake tart shells, store them in a airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days. If you are not going to make tart shells right away, you can freeze tart dough up to 2 months and use them as needed by defrosting it in a refrigerator over night. Just make sure you wrap it tightly and freeze.
- Mixing dough: Ensure to mix the dough in a medium low speed. Over mixing dough will make the dough chewy.
- Chilling dough: Do not skip the step of chilling the tart dough or you may have a difficult time rolling it out.
- Forming dough: To patch a hole while you are transferring the dough, gently fill the hole with a small piece from the outer edge and a little bit of water.
This recipe creates just a right amount of sweetness. The dough isn’t too sweet, so it doesn’t overpower the actual flavor of main ingredients of tarts.